Sunday, June 22, 2008

I'm Sorry. No wait. . . No I'm Not

I have decided to completely honest in this blog.  I want to tell my whole story without censoring myself.  I apologize in advance for all the "talk" about poop, colon, bowels (or lack there of) and so on.  No wait.  No I am not sorry.  That thought process is part of the problem.  

Colon cancer is the uncoolest of all the cancers.  I know, all cancers suck really bad.  But colon cancer comes with an additional stigma.  It is the least talked about cancer.  Yet, colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.    

It is almost like having colon cancer is something to be ashamed of.   How many celebrities have ever come forward with having a colorectal cancer?  Ok, Sharon Osbourne, but who else?  Really, all those famous people out there and only one publicly announced they had colon cancer?  The National Cancer Institute estimates there will be 148,810 new cases of colon and rectal cancers this year.  

We don't like to talk about our bowels.  Going the bathroom is a private matter, yet we all do it. I will admit, I get a little creeped out just think about putting my personal info out there for my family to read (not as much creeped out about random people reading it, though.  Odd.)  So, family, be ready to hear about my colostomy, the problems I'll have with it (like leaking everywhere), issues w/ control, butt burn (like diaper rash for adults, lovely!), my new bathroom habits, just to name a few.  

But, if little me is able to help change just one person's perspective of colon cancer, colostomies and the like; then maybe there is hope for getting people more comfortable with it.  There is still a lot left to learn about colorectal cancers and FAP.  Maybe if the stereotype starts to get broken then there will be more funding for research.  

With that I vow to be honest and not to sugar coat anything that I may go through on this journey.   I have decided, that after my surgeries I plan to post pictures of my incisions, scars and ostomy.  It is unfortunate that there is not more pictures out there.  If there was, maybe  it would help to lessen the stigma that goes along with it.  Everyone's initial reaction when they hear I will have to have an ileostomy is: "will you have to have a colostomy bag?"  and followed by an "Eeeewww!"  Thank you people, that is my body you are ewwwing.  And, you know that ostomy that grosses you out, well it saved my life.

Ok, stepping off my soap box for now.  Thanks for "listening" to me rant.  


Christina said...

i'm still reading!

Aunt Deb and Family said...

Rant all you want. I will be there to listen (read). My heart and sole are with you every step of the way. Sorry I am not physically with you Stephanie. Love, Aunt Deb

Anonymous said...

Hey Steph....
Being honest is the way to be...that is why i love you cause you are honest and not ashamed of it! Sorry i havent talked to you lately...i had a week off from work and tried to get some r and r, now I start summer camp tomorrow...we need to catch up, i will call you this week! Love ya, Jess

Aunt Donna said...

I'm so impressed, you're tring to make a difference in the lives of others, when it's you going through this troubling time.
It's been a few years but I remember taking care of many patients with ostomies, and you're right it can be a bit overwhelming, but medicince has come a long way and I hear it's not as tedious as it once was. I think you'll probably have your own home care "ostomy nurse" who will be there daily for a while to help you out.
I get up each day and the first thing I think about is checking in on the blog to hear what's going on.
Love you and wish I could be there personally to help you out.
Aunt Donna

Keri said...

I didn't know that colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. You're absolutely right in that it affects a part of the body that people are uncomfortable talking about, so thus people are not nearly as aware of colorectal cancer as they should be.

I give you enormous props for starting this blog and educating all of your readers on this issue. Did you hear that faint sound of applause? That was me giving you and standing ovation and clapping as I read this entry about how you're not going to be afraid to hold anything back in this blog. I've said it before, but I'll say it again: your strength amazes me.

Also, I wanted to second what Maribeth said after your last post. It looks like you have an incredibly supportive family. What a blessing!

Maribeth said...

I'm joining in on Keri's standing O. You are an amazing person.

Anonymous said...


IF THEY TAKE AS GOOD CARE OF YOU AS YOU DID OF MonChiChi & Whitie I know you'll be fine.

Is Scott handling this as well as you?The next time you're here you and mandy can dress_up in the closet. love and prayers' Mimi

aunt colleen said...

Sounds to me like you are identifying the enemy. Target away - we can all aim.
With you and behind you,
Aunt Colleen

Em said...

I am still reading too! And I will continue to do so.

Keep at it with your strength and honesty, Steph. We are all pulling for you.

Paula said...

Stephanie - You go girl - rant and rave all you want you're allowed. Sometimes throwing things helps too but don't hit Scott. You're right, you don't hear about many people coming forward saying they have colon cancer, hopefully you will make a difference in the way people view colon cancer, I know you have made a differnce for me. Love you, I wish I could give you a hug personally.
Love Aunt Paula

Anonymous said...

Sometimes ranting is the only way to get the point across. If not to educate than to make yourself feel better. Rant away girl!